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Civil Air Patrol Aircrew Finds Black Hills Fire

April 1, 2021

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(Rapid City)---A Civil Air Patrol (CAP) aircrew on a routine training flight found a flair-up of a fire in the Black Hills on March 31 which had been extinguished two days earlier.

The South Dakota Wing aircrew, consisting of Col. Mike Beason, CAP, and  Lt. Col Craig Goodrich, CAP, of Rapid City and MSgt. Chris Banks, CAP, of Ellsworth Air Force Base, had been conducting proficiency flying in the area. 

“We were on a training flight and saw some smoke away from the known fires near Rapid City and Mount Rushmore, so we decided to check it out,” said Beason. “When we saw no one near it, we reported it to Custer County.”

The aircrew found a fresh outbreak of the Bobcat fire, on state land just north of the Medicine Mountain Scout Ranch in western Pennington County.  The fire had been listed as contained two days earlier. At least three “brush truck” fire trucks were reported to be back at the scene during the evening after CAP reported the reignited fire.

“They were extremely thankful we reported it,” said Beason.

CAP has over 400 members in South Dakota with units in Brookings, Custer, Miller, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Spearfish, and Tea. The wing can deploy its six aircraft, ground teams, and small search drones to assist in emergency response and other support to local, state, tribal and federal agencies.

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